Friday, July 8, 2011

Fantasy Friday: Tempest Rising

Tempest Rising, by Tracy Deebs

Publisher: Walker Books
Pages: 352 (hardcover)
Reading Level: 12 and up
Enjoyment Level: medium

I love getting free stuff! At this year’s Houston Teen Book Con, they were giving ARCs away as “door prizes” as you entered. I remembered seeing the cover of this one on GoodReads at one point, and I got the last one they were giving away! Lucky me!

From GoodReads:

Tempest Maguire wants nothing more than to surf the killer waves near her California home; continue her steady relationship with her boyfriend, Mark; and take care of her brothers and surfer dad. But Tempest is half mermaid, and as her seventeenth birthday approaches, she will have to decide whether to remain on land or give herself to the ocean like her mother. The pull of the water becomes as insistent as her attraction to Kai, a gorgeous surfer whose uncanny abilities hint at an otherworldly identity as well. And when Tempest does finally give in to the water's temptation and enters a fantastical underwater world, she finds that a larger destiny awaits her—and that the entire ocean's future hangs in the balance.

I liked this one quite a bit. The writing drew me in and kept me reading, and I didn’t feel there was anywhere the story lagged. I don’t think the plot and characters were quite as well-developed as they could’ve been, though, which keeps this book from getting my highest rating.

Tempest is the most well-rounded character in the book, and she is interesting. As she comes into her powers and realizes what awaits her as half-mermaid, I did feel like it was a natural and gradual development for the most part. There were a couple of places where I wasn’t sure what was going on and the confusion left me irritated. I’m not sure if that’s because it happened too fast, or things somehow just got jumbled.

Kai felt slightly more flat to me, although he wasn’t terrible. I think I just didn’t really feel the right kind of connection between him and Tempest. I know I was supposed to get the idea that they’re deeply connected, but that lacked a little spark or something to make it a nice, dramatic thing. I liked that Kai was a selkie, though, and the family dynamic he had gave more depth to the character.

There is a lot of action once Tempest ends up under the ocean. It helped make the story seem less simplistic. The author did give us a couple of really dramatic moments that had me holding my breath in anxiety, so full marks for the battle and action sequences.

Despite the taste of destiny, I feel like this is a lighter fantasy that will be enjoyable for a range of audiences. I may not have connected much to Kai, but younger girls will definitely find him crush-worthy, and Tempest is a strong female lead. It’s worth a read and makes for a good summer tale.

Until next time, go read something!

~ Vilate

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Contest Winner: Cryer's Cross

Sorry everyone, for the crazy late winner here. I'm heading to Florida next week, and of course I've been running around like I have no idea what I'm doing. But, better late than never...

Thanks to everyone who entered the contest. And thanks to everyone who reads the blog. I appreciate all the support and the continued readership, despite my terrible track record at putting things up on a regular basis!

So, the winner of a signed copy of Cryer's Cross is:

Maggie Desmond-O'Brien said...

Yay! I've wanted to read this one forever. =) Thanks for the giveaway!!/mdesmondobrien/status/66490252583383040


Maggie, please email me at to claim your prize. I'll need your mailing address so I can send this your way. Thanks!!!

~ Vilate